Update of news and articles on Bukit Brown

June 2012

Zaobao News Jun 25
by 吴悦神

俗话说“百善孝为先”,而我认为“孝”作为华人的传统美德之一是每个人都应该具有 的一种品格。小时候,祖父祖母总爱讲“二十四孝”的故事给我们听,虽然当时并不了解故事背后的含义,但却会时不时地跑去给祖父祖母捶捶背捏捏腿。至于像 “卧冰求鲤”、“卖身葬父”、“弃官寻母”这些耳熟能详的典故至今仍记忆犹新。

  再次接触到“二十四孝”的故事是在今年的3月份。闹得沸沸扬扬的武吉布朗坟山,也就是俗称的“咖啡山”因受道路工程的影响而导致部分坟墓将要被迁移。因此决定,与另一位学者杨旸,在这些文化古迹流失前,去亲眼目睹一下这片早期华人所留下的历史古迹。

   走进坟山,我们便发现不少坟墓上有着雕工十分精致的雕刻,甚至还有不少罕见的深浮雕。在这些雕刻中,包括了不少当时流行的小说连环画,而“二十四孝图” 正是这些雕刻中最为常用的蓝本。通常这些雕刻会出现在一座坟墓的坟壁上,而这些具有“孝”意的雕刻,正是象征了儿孙们对逝去先祖的一片孝心。不过由于坟墓 尺寸的局限性,“二十四孝图”通常只会在一座墓出现几幅而已。但是,有一座坟墓竟然打破了这种局限性,因为它够“大”!

  王三龙老先生的 巨塚是武吉布朗坟山中最大的一座双人墓,足足有600平方米大,相当于10个三房式组屋单位的面积,并以一种唯我独尊的姿态立在咖啡山中最高的山坡上俯视 着其他坟墓。初次见到这座巨塚,除了被它那惊人的排场与气派深深震撼外,另一项发现也令我们振奋不已——“二十四孝全图”的立体深浮雕!

   我与杨旸在游访王老先生巨塚的过程中,发现坟墓的坟壁上雕有许多和其他坟墓类似的雕刻,只不过这些雕刻的数量要远胜于其他咖啡山内普通的坟墓。仔细观察 下发现,两侧的墓手上明显雕有数幅我们所熟知的“二十四孝”典故,但有些我们并不十分确定。我心里推测:会不会王老先生的坟墓刻有全幅的二十四孝雕刻呢?

  于是,在好奇心的驱使下,我们一幅一幅拍下了所有坟壁上的浮雕,回去一一查证。我们先是在网上搜集了大量关于“二十四孝”的资料,之后又借来了《新刊全相二十四孝诗选》以及《中国古代二十四孝全图》进行交叉对比并加以反复考证。

   结果我们发现果然不出所料,王老先生坟墓坟壁上的雕刻确实刻有全部“二十四孝”中的典故,分左右两边排放,一边12幅,这也印证了我们之前的推断。有人 说二十四孝的浮雕出现在坟墓上,体现出的其实是墓主的子孙对墓主所表现出的孝道,其中也略微带有稍许向他人“炫耀”的色彩。但我们觉得,这些雕刻其实体现 出的并不只是孝道而已,它们更包含了建坟者对其子孙的教育意义,以及对子孙日后也能够如此行孝的一种期望。

  王老先生的墓碑上不仅有二十四孝的浮雕,我们还发现这些雕刻上还有残留下来的彩色印迹。难道这些雕刻在完成之初是以彩色的姿态呈现出来的?又或者是后人为他们的先祖所上的色?这些我们暂时不得而知,仍需继续考察。

There is a Chinese saying 富不过三代 – that is riches or legacy does not pass 3 generations.
What it implies is that if the descendants does not treasure what the ancestors left behind,  usually the wealth will dissipate after a few generations.
It is also a reminder to the descendants to treasure, safeguard and if possible expand upon what the ancestors has left behind. Sometimes people will try to break
this saying by ensuring that fortune will pass down the generations, even pass the 3rd generation.
----
It was the year 1982.
An obituary notice was published in the Straits Times for a grand old lady who died at the age of 91. 
Few people at that time knew this lady was tied to the tides and fortunes of a prestigious family going back all the way a hundred years ago....a Pineapple King
Tan Tye came from Hokkien Tong Ann. Born in 1839, he came to Nanyang Singapore in 1860 when he was just 21 years old and in Singapore, he managed  to start the timber business, in addition
he had big rubber and pineapple plantations.
Tan Tye – the pineapple king
Pineapple is a suitable cash crop to be grown along side rubber, as rubber trees take 5 years to mature, whereas pineapples only 2 years to bear fruits.
Most plantation owners would plant pineapples besides rubber, making Singapore one of the major exporters of canned pineapples in the world.  Many Singapore pioneers
like Tan Kee Peck (Tan Kah Kee's father), Lim Nee Soon and Tan Tye made their fortunes through the pineapples industry at that time.
In fact Tan Tye was so well known for his canned pineapples, that people called him the Pineapple King.
He owned land near Clarke Quay and has a pineapple canning factory there.  He also donated land there to the government to build warehouses, hence today, there is a street Tan Tye Place near Clarke Quay named after him.
One of his famous brand of canned pineapples was the Istana Brand, which he managed together with his sons Lian Swee, Lian Boh and Lian Chye
Istana Brand Pineapples by Tan Tye & Sons (Pic source:  Occupation, Published by Hokkien Huay Kuan 2008)
Tan Tye with 2 of his sons Lian Boh and Lian Chye (Photo credit: Pat Lin)
In 1878, he was one of the 4 assistant directors of the Tan Si Chong Su Tan Clan temple.  Towards the end of the 19th century, he also donated funds to the Qing Government and was awarded a 4th ranking official title.
Hin Choon & Co, Preserved Pineapple Factory
35 Sumbawa Road (Victoria Road junction)
Pic source : Lee Kip Lin collection nl.sg
Hin Choon & Co was set up by Lian Boh and Lian Chye in 1906.  Tan Tye eldest son Lian Swee established Lian Choon at Stamford Road junction,
Lian Choon pineapples was also very famous.  Lian Chye also bought large pieces of land to cultivate rubber and pineapple, near Kranji and Jurong.
1900 – 1905 – pineapples in Boat Quay to be transported to canning factories
Pic source : a2o. com.sg
From ST : Tan Tye died in Singapore on Jul 22, 1898; his estate was a large one; the will was of somewhat complicated character, and he has, as so many gentlemen of Chinese race seem, particularly in the past, anxious to do tied up his property in such a way that the distribution is to be delayed until the last possible moment. He was twice married, and had children of both sexes by both wives; he also had a mistress by whom he had a child; and he also adopted certain sons; in addition to this he had brothers whose sons, his nephews, also benefitted under his will.
It was stated that the Tan Tye clogged the distribution of his property until the expiration of 21 years from the death of the survivor of such of his children and grandchildren and certain named nephews as should be living at testator's death.
The tomb of Tan Tye.  He was buried somewhere near Upper Pierce Reservoir
A close up of his tombstone reveals his 5 sons and 3 daughters.
Tomb of Tan Tye showing his 4th rank Qing Dynasty title and his children
His blood sons included Lian Swee,  Lian Boh and Lian Chye.
However, sometime before 1970s, his tomb was raided by tomb raiders.  The descendants then decided
to shift his remains to a smaller tomb near by.
The smaller tomb whereby Tan Tye's actual remains were kept.
On 20 Nov 1918, the mother of Lian Boh and Lian Chye died and was buried at Hokkien Huay Kuan near Bukit Brown Cemetery
On 30 Nov 1965,  2 of his daughters' graves nearby was affected by redevelopment, and the tombs were exhumed
and reinterred at Hokkien Huay Kuan Cemetery as well
One of the daughter of Tan Khin Neo, Chee Gim Geok, together with other administrators of the deceased, gave consent for the exhumation.
Soon, it was Tan Tye's turn to be exhumed.
An exhumation notice was published in The Straits Times, 31 May 1993, Page 26
EXHUMATION NOTICE THE GRAVE OF "TAN TYE"
3 days later, Tan Tye's trustee British and Malaya Trust (BMT)  became aware of the exhumation notice of the exhumation and immediately commenced legal action to prevent the exhumation
The case went all the way to the Court of Appeal, presided by CJ Yong Pung How but BMT lost the case in 1999 and Tan Tye's tomb was exhumed. BMT has lost the grave land that they were entrusted
to keep by Tan Tye through an unfortunate string of events pertaining to sale and resale of the plot of land one part of which contained Tan Tye's grave.
Tan Tye grave was original situated in a lot of approx 4 acres of land and the surrounding land including this grave land in 1971 was to be sold and the grave land resold and conveyed back to
BMT.  The land was soon resold again and involved more parties including a bank and BMT, the trustee never got back the grave land.
----------------
Back to Tan Tye's will.  At the time of Tan Tye's death, there was a young girl who was his granddaughter named Chee Gim Geok.   She was the administrator who exhumed her mother grave
Tan Khin Neo in 1965.  She was the youngest grandchild of Tan Tye's will.
As Tan Tye has stated that his property can only be divided 21 years after the death of the last surviving grandchildren, so when Chee Gim Geok died in 1982,  Tan Tye's vast property
can only be divided in 2003.
And the property can only be divided among his male descendants, but not to adopted sons nor women folk.
More than 50 people laid claim to his property in 2003,  but in 2004 May 21, , the high court decided that only 16 of his descendants qualify,  these 16 have descended from his
3 blood sons.  At that time, his property was worth some $70 million, and each descendant could get around 4 million dollars.
Two of Tan Tye's sons Tan Lian Boh and Tan Lian Chye are currently buried at Bukit Brown Cemetery.
Tomb of Tan Lian Boh – LTA Stake No 1872.  Tan Lian Boh's tomb was exhumed recently in
preparation for LTA highway project cutting across Bukit Brown.
Tan Lian Boh is also the founder of Xiao Tao Yuan (Little Peach Garden), an entertainment club whereby intellectuals would gather and discuss about political and other issues.
According to a local researcher Walter Lim (http://bukitbrowntomb.blogspot.sg/), 
Tan Lian Chye and Teo Eng Hock once wrote to the British Consul in Shanghai to help rescue Zhang Tai Yan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhang_Binglin)
and Zou Rong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zou_Rong) in the 1903 Subao case which shocked the world, writing under the auspices of this club Xiao Tao Yuan.
The Subao case marks the moment in Chinese history when the radicals who called for the end of dynastic governance and the creation of a democracy split
from the reformers who sought creation of a constitutional monarchy and was also a turning point in China's constitutional order, helping to publicize and popularize the cause of constitutional change
As for Tan Lian Chye (also known as Tan Chor Nam),  his tomb still remains at Bukit Brown.
Tan Lian Chye was one of the pioneers of the local branch of Tong Meng Hui, which helped Sun Yat Sen to overthrow the Qing Government
Pic of Tan Lian Chye sitting next to Sun Yat Sen
Tan Lian Chye, his mother and his two sisters' tomb nearby may be affected by later development slated for Bukit Brown and its surrounding area.
Tan Tye has a vision, to let his legacy survive beyond 3 generations so much so that he left an unusual will.
The tombs of Bukit Brown tell the story of many Singaporeans who helped to build up Singapore and some even play great roles beyond the little red dot of Singapore.
Let the legacy enshrined in Bukit Brown remain in times to come


Zaobao News Jun 16, 2012
by 柯木林


建立名人陵园或先贤陵园,说难亦易,说易亦难,必须各方面的协调合作,始有可成。其中后裔的态度,至关重要。建立名人陵园毕竟涉及后裔的家事,若有异议,恐难成事。


  拜读林清如先生6月9日在《联合早报·周末论谈》发表的大作《深藏武吉布朗的秘密》后,即刻致电作者。因其文中谈到新加坡福建帮开山鼻祖薛佛记 (1793-1847),是我感兴趣的课题;而该文结束时又提及我先前所倡议的“名人陵园”的构思,觉得有必要再作一文阐述之。
  今年3月21日在回应《联合早报》的提问,谈及如何处理受修路工程影响的名人墓地时,我曾建议:“把有历史和文化意义的坟墓,例如薛中华、邱菽园等人 的坟墓集中搬迁到一个先贤陵园……(由于)武吉布朗会分阶段发展,一些地段最终可能不受影响,可以在那里建立先贤陵园,方便人们凭吊。”
  薛中华的墓地在武吉布朗坟山,编号1919,是受修路工程影响的名人墓地之一。另一个受影响的名人是邱菽园,编号2536。今年初,在一个细雨纷飞的早上,我特地前往凭吊此二人之墓地,但见杂草萋萋,显然已经有一段时间没有人修整。
  薛中华(1886-1940)、邱菽园(1874-1941)是同时代的人。邱菽园比薛中华大12岁,可惜薛中华并不长寿,早邱菽园一年辞世,享年54岁,他们两人有亲戚关系。薛中华的妻子邱杏娘(Khoo Heng Neo)是邱正忠的三女儿,而邱菽园乃邱正忠之子。根据武吉布朗墓地登录簿(Burial Registers of Bukit Brown Cemetery, May 1947-Nov 1972)的资料,邱杏娘卒于1963年8月10日,终年80岁。按辈份看,她是邱菽园的妹妹,也就是说薛中华为邱菽园妹婿。邱菽园是星洲才子,在新加坡文坛颇负盛名;薛中华则是华社领袖,声誉甚隆,都是当年响当当的人物。
  薛中华是商人,邱菽园是文人,他们来自不同的领域,但对新加坡社会的贡献是一样的:一个在经济层面上,一个在文化层面上。薛中华生前住在巴慕乐路(Balmoral Road)23号的豪宅,邱菽园住安珀路(Amber Road)42号的“东滨小阁”,两处并不毗邻。但百年之后都安息在武吉布朗山,并且同样受迁坟的影响,或许是他们生前所始料不及的吧!
  薛中华也是新加坡福建帮开山鼻祖薛佛记的曾孙。一百年来,薛氏家族对新加坡社会的贡献,不容忽视。我有一专文论述薛氏家族的贡献,这里不再重复(此文 收录在柯木林著《石叻史记》,新加坡:青年书局出版,2007年8月第一次版,页65-73)。薛中华有生之年曾将其家族史汇辑编成《东山薛氏家谱》,此 家谱由其幼女薛彩凤(Lucy Chen)保管。1963年,陈蒙鹤撰写其硕士论文《新加坡早期的华文报(1881-1912)》(The Early Chinese Newspapers of Singapore 1881-1912)时,就曾利用这部家谱的资料。1972年,东南亚史学界泰斗陈育崧也是利用此家谱资料,正式肯定薛佛记在新华社会史上的地位。
  《东山薛氏家谱》的内容给我印象最为深刻的是薛有福(1862-1884),他是薛中华的叔叔,新加坡乃至全东南亚第一家华文日报《叻报》创办人薛有 礼(1851-1906)的弟弟。这部家谱详细记录了薛有福的生平事迹。这位受英文教育的峇峇,为清朝第三批幼童赴美官费留学生之一。从美国留学回来后, 又到福州船政学堂学习,之后在福建海军服务,1884年于中法马江之役殉国,年仅23岁。薛有福是此次海战中殉国的唯一本地清朝海军军官,他短暂的一生很 具亮点,值得一书。
  一百多年后的今天,在福州马尾昭忠路,我们还可以看到当年奉旨建造的昭忠祠,祠中的石碑上镌刻着在此次中法海战中阵亡的736名官兵的名字,其中就有:“扬武”舰留美回国练生六品军功薛有福的刻字,永垂青史。

左秉隆创始“星洲”一词

  新加坡的另一称号星洲,虽非邱菽园原创,但通过他的推广,“星洲”一词才广为人知。根据新马历史学者李业霖的考证:中国清朝驻新加坡领事左秉隆是“星 洲”一词的创始者。左秉隆在驻新加坡任内曾游廖内岛,归程时上午登船,一路帆开逐流,归来已是入夜时分,他看到新加坡海面上,渔火点点,于是赋诗纪游,其 中有“乘兴不知行远近,又看渔火照星洲”之句,称新加坡为星洲(见左秉隆著《勤勉堂诗钞》卷四,页110,〈游廖埠〉)。
  左秉隆赋诗时1887年,比邱菽园办《天南新报》早11年。不过,邱菽园在1898年创办《天南新报》后,便屡用“星洲”一词作为新加坡的别称。如果 说左秉隆是“星洲”一词的创始者,邱菽园却是将“星洲”推广应用,可说是发扬光大者。邱菽园也是当年保皇派的中坚分子,戌戍政变后,康有为南来新加坡避 难,邱菽园就曾在经济上援助过他。
  林清如在文章结尾时沉重地指出:“名人陵园的构思,是实际可行的建议,社会上下却置若罔闻。保留古迹,保留历史,谁有责任?”
  事实上,建立名人陵园或先贤陵园,说难亦易,说易亦难,必须各方面的协调合作,始有可成。其中后裔的态度,至关重要。建立名人陵园毕竟涉及后裔的家 事,若有异议,恐难成事。从另一方面耒说,倘若后裔们的态度主动积极,会有更好的效果。名人后裔可与民间组织及官方机构配合,共商此事。
  当然如薛中华、邱菽园等,他们的精神与曾经的贡献,也应视为国家的财富与文化遗产。以薛中华和邱菽园而言,薛中华上世纪20年代曾任新加坡福建会馆、 中华总商会会长等职;邱菽园一度任漳州十属会馆(即今漳州总会)座办。这些在薛中华、邱菽园有生之年的相关机构,亦可以牵头与古迹保存局互动,为创建名人 陵园的工程努力!

 Zaobao News  Jun 9
by 林清如

  武吉布朗的开路计划看来势在必行,有关方面已在3月19日明确表示,没有洽商的余地。
  又有哪些先人需要“为国捐躯”呢?根据报载,受影响的包括了早期社会闻人邱菽园与薛中华的墓地。邱菽园是报界先驱,大家懂得的事较多。本文只谈薛中 华,他有鲜为人知的故事,更有不平凡的后代。网上相传武吉布朗有个二号山,也称中华山,很多薛家先辈都葬在这里。除了薛中华自己的坟墓外,受道路工程影响 的包括他的两个弟弟(薛中朝和薛中乐)、弟媳妇及他们的母亲(薛有文妻)等十二人的墓地。

比陈嘉庚更早的福建帮首领

  薛中华原籍福建厦门,于1885年出世于马六甲的一个显赫土生华人世家。他是新马福建帮的开山始祖薛福记曾孙,《叻报》创办人薛有礼的侄儿。
  6岁那年,薛中华从马六甲来新加坡圣约瑟书院读书,1901年受雇汇丰银行,后被擢升为买办。1912年即活跃于中华总商会,后被委为市议员、太平局 绅。薛中华与陈嘉庚等人同时是怡和轩会员,但是他的主要影响力是在福建会馆,连任福建会馆与天福宫主席多年,比起陈嘉庚,他可说是更早的福建帮首领。当时 陈嘉庚与林推迁坐镇怡和轩与同济医院,经常与薛中华的人马,为争夺中华总商会地盘而公然出招。
  笔者与薛中华的一位外孙女陈宗孟医生相识多年,她正是笔者挚友林福寿医生的贤内助。今年4月12日笔者与怡和轩同仁前去造访,陈宗孟内心深处是个鲜为人知的“大江大海”,一向行事低调,几经细心推敲,她才平静地吐露些许往事。
  薛中华家族与怡和轩先贤姻缘不浅。他的一名姑姑(薛有文之妹),是曾为新加坡解决水供短缺问题而出名的富商陈金声的媳妇(陈明水妻),这名姑姑也就是怡和轩创办人之一陈若锦的母亲。薛中华的幼子薛梦熊,则娶另一位怡和轩先贤林义顺的长女林积玉为妻。
  薛中华的幼女薛彩凤(Lucy Chen Nee See),正是陈宗孟的母亲。薛彩凤到英国学法律,认识了来念工程的河北青年陈序。陈序的父亲陈调元原为北洋军阀、后投国民革命军,先后出任第37军军长、山东省省长、蒋介石剿共预备军总司令。相传洪晃之母章含之,即是陈调元另外一位儿子陈度的私生女。
  薛彩凤是新马史上第一位在英国获得律师资格、并成为英国律师公会会员的女性。毕业后与陈序结婚,随他回南京,结果让她在伦敦的学妹张舜琴(张永福长 女)先回来新加坡,成了进入海峡殖民地律师公会的第一位女性。陈宗孟笑着说,回南京后,陈序服务于中国铁道局,薛彩凤忙着入乡随俗,在一个重视礼教的中国 人家庭学做人家的媳妇。
  1932年陈宗孟诞生于南京,她的两个弟弟也先后出世。1937年日军全面入侵中国,爷爷陈调元力劝媳妇薛彩凤带陈宗孟姐弟回新加坡避难,与外公薛中华同住在巴慕乐路(Balmoral Road)23号的薛家豪宅。陈宗孟说,这是她第一次见到外公薛中华。那时她5岁,进入武吉知马的南洋女子小学读一年级。
  中日战争爆发后没几年,国民政府被迫迁都重庆,爷爷陈调元与父亲陈序跟着去。为突破日军的封锁,国民军开辟了滇缅公路,陈序是筑路的工程师之一。预知 日军会直下南洋,陈序过后安排把妻子与儿女一家人接到重庆。陈宗孟记得,大约是1942年前后,他们从槟城坐船到仰光,辗转跋涉滇缅公路进入昆明,最后到 了重庆。
  二战结束,一家人回到南京。1949年中共建政,父亲陈序随国民党去台湾。妈妈带姐弟四人先去香港,再与两个小的弟弟回新加坡,开始执业当律师,曾在 马绍尔律师馆任职。陈宗孟和一个弟弟则留香港升学。陈宗孟读完高中,进入香港大学读医科,1957年毕业后,在香港实习一年,1958年回新加坡的中央医 院工作。
  陈宗孟说,外公薛中华是糖尿病患者,新加坡沦陷前就逝世了,过后外婆把巴慕乐路的寓所卖给一所中学校,现在已被发展为一座豪华公寓。不过附近的有文路(Ewe Boon Road),就是以曾外祖父薛有文的名字命名的。她笑着说,有一回一位表妹碰巧驾车路经有文路时与人争吵,对方怒汹汹问道:“你以为这是你祖母的路吗?(Do you think this is your grandmother’s road?)”表妹迅速给她“纠正”:“不对,是我曾祖父的路啊!”我们听了,哈哈大笑。

大时代女性的楷模

  陈宗孟在中央医院工作,认识了林福寿医生,对他那无私的专业精神、温文尔雅的君子风度、幽默的谈吐、崇高的人生理念留下深刻印象。陈宗孟端庄高贵,扎实的双文化内涵,虽然出身名门,但在战乱中长大,更显得气质非凡。两人彼此倾慕,是意料中的事。
  林福寿原是人民行动党建党党员,后来与林清祥等人集体退党,另组社会主义阵线。那天访谈时,林福寿说,1961年10月的某一天,他叫了12位好友(林清祥、兀哈尔、布都惹里、傅树介(陈嘉庚外孙)、方水双等人)到他在甘贝尔巷(Campbell Lane)的住家“开会”,与会者到齐后才知道,原来那是他们两人(林福寿与陈宗孟)宣布结婚的“会议”!1962年,他们唯一的孩子诞生了。
  1963年2月,林福寿在“冷藏行动”下被拘留,将近20年(1982年)后才获得释放。新婚夫妻长期被拆散,陈宗孟辛酸诉不尽、心灵创伤终生难愈。 不过不管地老天荒,她坚守承诺、风雨不改地定时去探监,给丈夫精神上的支持。她自力更生,把儿子抚养长大,同时致力于自己的专业,成为著名的胃脏专科医 生。令人肃然起敬的陈宗孟,堪称大时代女性的楷模。
  陈宗孟说,她们夫妇曾经到台湾探访年老的父亲陈序,母亲则在2002年去世。夫妇俩也多次与姨妈那边的亲戚,一道去武吉布朗扫外公的墓。近年来夫妇俩年迈体弱,没再去了。最近曾和表兄弟、表姐妹谈到外公墓地将被挖掘的事,大家都感到无奈。
  “外公尸骸即将化为灰烬,有何感受?”陈宗孟淡淡回答:“新加坡历史深印着外公的足迹,他更是福建帮早期领袖,要把他的古迹烧尽丢尽,应该是件大事,国家与社会却无动于衷,我们做后代的能做什么!”
  武吉布朗好风水,薛中华才有不平凡的后代。薛中华即将长眠不再,瞬间就会随同记忆一起蒸发。历史学者柯木林曾有建个名人陵园的构思,是个实际可行的建议,社会上下却置若罔闻。保留古迹、保留历史,谁有责任?

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